Category Archives: outdoor sports

The Ten Hidden Gem National Parks

We here at Lightload Towels are always looking for that ultimate get-away from it all place. So when we ran across this article in Esquire we just had to check it out. How does 400+ square miles all to yourself in some of America’s most pristine and remote wilderness sound to you for a total get-away? According to Esquire these are 10 of North Americas least visited National Parks.

1) Kobuk Valleykobuk-valley-national-park-new-lg

Far and away (no pun intended) the least visited of our national parks system, Kobuk Valley National Park attracted only 847 visitors in 2007. Located in the Arctic Circle, accessible only by foot, dogsled or snowmobile, and featuring exactly zero designated trails and roads, the park’s title of least visited isn’t really that surprising.

What Kobuk Valley lacks in user-friendliness, however, it more than makes up for in sand dunes and caribou. The park is also a great place to experience the anomaly of 24-hour daylight (but only for one month a year).

 

2) Lake Clarklake-clark-np-lg

Concentrating all the best that Alaskan wilderness has to offer into a single park, it is surprising Lake Clark National Park and Preservation had only 5,549 visitors in 2007. Lakes, active volcanoes, three mountain ranges, glaciers, waterfalls, arctic-like tundra and even a rainforest comprise this majestic park outside of Anchorage. Sled dog teams were the best way to travel around the area until the 1960s, but they have recently faced competition from snowmobiles.

At 6,297 square miles, Lake Clark National Park provides plenty of open space for your personal enjoyment. With an average of only 15 visitors per day, this means each visitor has 419 square miles of pristine national park to him or herself every day

 

3) American Samoaamerican-smoa-np-lg

How many national parks can boast a rain forest and a coral reef? The National Park of American Samoa is unlike any other park, and if you weren’t one of the park’s 6,774 lucky visitors in 2007 (which, statistically, you probably weren’t), we suggest you check it out.

The park, which spans three islands, offers a chance to see some great wildlife, from flying foxes to humpback whales. Admission to the park is free, which is good news because you’ll probably need to book a couple flights to get there — and don’t forget your passport. Sure, it’s basically three-quarters of the way to Australia (a nonstop flight from Los Angeles takes about 10 hours), but the National Park of American Samoa is way cooler than one of those overcrowded touristy national parks.

 

4) Gates of the Arcticgates-arctic-np-lg

Don’t let Into the Wild scare you away from the almost-untouched-by-man natural beauty of the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. Considering it’s roughly the size of Switzerland, it’s surprising that only 10,942 people ventured through this Alaskan park in 2007.

Millennia of glaciation and erosion have carved out a breathtaking array of valleys, rivers, mountains and crystal-clear lakes. For an opportunity to enjoy tranquility like you’ve never experienced before, head north — far, far, north — to this park, where you’re more likely to encounter a moose or caribou than another tourist

 

5) Isle Royaleisle-royale-np-lg

Isle Royale is a true hidden gem — perhaps this is why Michigan’s state gemstone (Isle Royale greenstone) is named after the remote little island that’s closer to Canada than it is to the States. Isle Royale is the largest island in Lake Superior, the greatest of the Great Lakes. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, Isle Royale National Park attracted 15,973 visitors in 2007.

Due to its remoteness, the island is populated by only about one third of the mammals that are found on the mainland. Interestingly, it is the only known place where wolves and moose live together without bears. If you don’t like crowds (or bears) pack up the seaplane and head to Isle Royale National Park.

 

6) North Cascadesnorth-cascades-np-lg

Considering its size and location (which is inconvenient, to say the least) it’s no surprise Alaska has so many parks on this list. While Alaskan national parks feature some truly amazing stuff, North Cascades National Park in Washington provides an opportunity to experience Alaska-like wilderness closer to home. In addition to bears, moose and cougars, the park has the most glaciers (more than 300 of them!) outside of Alaska. Sadly, that number is steadily decreasing as global warming continues to claim its victims, so go see them while you can.

Located in northern Washington, the park is popular among backpackers and hikers. Its 400 miles of trails also make it accessible to less-adventurous outdoor lovers. North Cascades National Park was enjoyed by 19,534 visitors in 2007.

 

7) Dry Tortugasdry-tortugas-np-lg

Looking for sunken pirate ships and lost treasure? Civil War history buff? Really into masonry? If any of these apply to you, then Dry Tortugas National Park is the park for you. Seventy miles west of Key West are the Dry Tortugas islands, so-called because they lack surface fresh water (“dry”) and Ponce de Leon caught a lot of sea turtles (“tortugas”) here in the 1500s.

The centerpiece of the park is Fort Jefferson, a behemoth brick fortress originally intended to protect the U.S. from Gulf Coast invaders (namely pirates), but also used as a Union stronghold during the Civil War. The fort, although never completed, is comprised of more than 16 million bricks, making it the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere.

Dry Tortugas is also a great place to watch migratory birds in the spring. With almost 300 bird species in the park, birdwatchers are in for quite a treat. As the 60,895 people who visited the park in 2007 can attest, Dry Tortugas National Park offers some great history in an idyllic setting.

 

8) Wrangell-St. Eliaswrangell-st-elias-lg

The largest of all the national parks, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is actually larger than nine states. It is almost impossible to understand the scope of this park without experiencing it firsthand. Glaciers and mountains — many of which could support their own national parks — are the only ones crowded here. The park’s 13 million acres provide a sprawling remote destination that is actually pretty accessible, as far as Alaskan national parks go. With 61,085 visitors in 2007, the park is increasing in popularity so enjoy its majesty before the Yellowstone crowd catches wind of it.

For those who just need some room to breathe, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park offers an average of 124 square miles per visitor, per day. That’s the size of the country of Malta — and it’s all waiting for you at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Smoky Mountain National Park, the most popular in the national park system, only offers a measly 0.03 square miles to each visitor each day.

 

9) Great Basingreat-basin-np-lg

Think of tourist destinations in Nevada and the first place your mind likely goes is Las Vegas. But our 36th state has so much more to offer than just strippers and slot machines. Head toward the Utah border and you’ll find Great Basin National Park, which attracted 81,364 visitors in 2007.

Thanks to an almost complete lack of civilization in these parts, the night skies of Great Basin National Park are among the darkest in the country. Think of the park as the yin to Las Vegas’ yang. Flashing neon lights are replaced with awesome, naked-eye views of the starry night — a rare opportunity for many. It’s estimated that two-thirds of Americans cannot see the Milky Way from their backyards, and as light pollution continues to worsen, chances to observe the cosmos as nature intended might be running out.

 

10) Katmaikatmai-np-lg

Katmai National Park in southern Alaska provides thrill seekers an opportunity to hike among 14 active volcanoes and the world’s largest population of protected brown bears. Active volcanoes and thousands of brown bears not extreme enough for you? Well the National Park Service Website also warns visitors to expect only “some sunshine” and to “be prepared for stormy weather.” And here’s the kicker: it also offers the caveat that “light rain can last for days.” Consider yourself warned.

With 82,634 visitors in 2007, Katmai National Park is the most visited of our least visited national parks.

All of these places are truly the “hidden gems” of North America, remote and unfettered by man or machine, so if you are planning a visit to one of these locations make sure you pack plenty Lightload Towels for the trip!

Escape the City with a Towel

Urban Escapes is a great way to get away from the city and do outdoorsy stuff like hiking, climbing and boating. Lightload Towels is a proud sponsor. Urban Escapes Founder Maia Josebachvili says:

I brought a three-pack of lightloads with me while backpacking in the Himalayas in Nepal for a month. They were awesome! Didn’t weight a thing (which I really appreciated at 18,000 ft) and were just as effective as a regular towel. I’ll be using them again for sure!’

Check out National Geographic’s Urban Escapesuggestions. http://on.natgeo.com/1lsNQXO

Please contact Urban Esapes if you are an outdoorsy person living in the New york city area

-Maia J.
Maia Josebachvili
Founder and Guide
Urban Escapes
212.609.2547

Check out www.urbanexcapenyc.com

Testing out the (Ultra)) Lightload Towels by Glamorous Traveller

Liyanatraveller from Glamorous Traveller an extremely popular blogging site reviewed the Lightload Towels and has given them an awesome thumbs up. Please read her review below. 

Waaaaayyyyy back in the beginning of my blog, I reviewed a few different travel towels. It’s since then gone way way up on my list of top blog posts and hopefully provided some insight to you too. Of course there are a bunch more travel towels out there that I didn’t review. I even received an email from ultralighttowels.com founder George, sharing how I had forgotten to review one of “the most unique and absorbent travel towel on the market; the Lightload towels.” So after some back and forth via email, I received my Lightload Towel for review and packed it up with me on my trip to Myanmar.

 

Packing Light

photo-018(Really small travel towels – in various sizes)

Without a doubt, this was the smallest travel towel I’ve brought on a trip. EVER. The full size travel towel comes condensed in a small circle, the size of a hockey pick and smaller than a paperback. If you’re thinking of bringing one with you, I do recommend that you don’t open it up at home but instead bring it with you still vacuum sealed and only open it up when you’re at your destination. The tiny packing of course meant that I could bring a bunch of extra things with me (but I don’t! because I’m supposed to be all about efficient packing too!). But if you did feel the urge to bring that extra top, this travel towel will definitely help.

It’s Uses

Once at destination, they’re really easy to use. You can of course just open it up and flap it in the air a few times to open it up. Or alternatively if you don’t feel like peeling it open, just soak it in some water to help it absorb and loosen up. Set it to dry and then you can use it as per normal.

IMG_8890-001(Add in some water and poof! Full size travel towel!)

What I really liked about the lightload towels are the different things you could use it for. They have all of it written up on their website, but I still found it funny to see their survival video on how you could use it. That’s right folks, apart from a travel towel, you could use it as a beach towel, a wind scarf, for first aid, or best of all as kindling in case you need to build a fire. “But what are you going to use to wipe yourself if you burnt your towel?” you may ask? Well, actually that’s also why its so cool the lightload towels come in so many different sizes. Bring it with you for a month or two, finish up in the forest and build yourself a fire using one of your towels. Then poof! Open up another pack of towel that you easily tucked into your pocket and you’re all set to continue on your journey.

Absorbency

Of course being a travel towel, one of the things you think about is, will this feel like a towel? Would it work like a towel? It may seem fragile in your hand, but you can easily use this to rub-a-dub-dub your back easily. It absorbs as well as a normal towel, but of course as it’s a travel towel you won’t get the homey fluffy feeling a normal towel would give you. As a basic though, it does its job well in terms of absorbing moisture.

IMG_8889-001

Fast drying

Another important element of a travel towel is how fast would it dry? I found that if you were to use it for a night shower you will wake up the next day to find it nice and dry. I can’t tell you for sure how many hours it takes to dry up from being fully wet (I’m not THAT scientific about my road testing), but I can assure you if you used the towel and then dried it out in the sun, I’m pretty sure it’ll be dry within an hour or so (depending as well on how strong your sunshine is)

 

The Cons

This is a single product review, so to be fair, I should share my areas of concern with this as well. I really didn’t see a lot of problems with the towel. The only thing that people may worry about is how fragile the towel can be.

It is quite thin, and unlikely that you’re going to be able to re-use this again and again and again. That being said though, if you take care of it, it’ll probably last you throughout your 2 months backpacking trip through Europe. I tried to rip it apart myself and it actually didn’t rip which made me feel its durable enough for multiple uses. I even chucked it into the washing machine and dryer to see how it would hold up and it was fine.

photo-17 copy(Packing small in comparison to everything else I brought with me)

Overall verdict

Overall I do think it is a good travel towel and handy for you to have and pack given its extremely small size and lightness. It absorbs just as well as a regular towel but its thin material also makes sure it dries up quickly. It’s main purpose is to be a towel and it does well in serving that, but don’t expect to use it for other things you would typically want towels to do, like act as a thick insulating blanket, or a comfy padded pillow. Also, don’t expect this to be a towel you keep on for a year or so, but take care of it enough and you can easily bring it with you for a few weeks or months on the road. And when all said and done? Well, why not go camping and use it up as kindling!

Lightload Towels can be found at Ultralighttowels.com in hand towel and beach towel sizes. They’re also sold in packs of two, threes, twelves and fifties for those who want to keep one at hand always.

*** I received a few lightload towels to be used for review and giveaway. 

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Lightload Towels Will Sponsor Applachian Mountain Club Annual Meeting

Lightload Towels will sponsor in part the
134th Annual Meeting of the Appalachian Mountain Club which will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2010, at the Crowne Plaza Boston North Shore (formerly the Sheraton Ferncroft Resort) in Danvers, MA.

Below is the information flyer about the event.
“This event is open to members and non-members alike. Throughout the day exciting, diverse workshops will be offered as well as an AMC Showcase Expo highlighting AMC Chapters, destinations, and volunteer opportunities.

At night, we will have the opportunity to enjoy dinner and a fantastic keynote speaker. This year’s speaker will be author, adventurer, photographer Jonathan Waterman. Jonathan’s latest book, Where Mountains are Nameless — Passion and Politics in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge relates his journeys into the Arctic Refuge.

Since 1983, Jon has taken eighteen trips into the far North and has spent over two hundred days in and around the embattled Arctic Refuge. While paddling or trekking cross-country, Jon has encountered howling wolves, British petroleum workers, Inupiat hunters and the oil-ravaged Prince William Sound.

Schedule of Events:

•Registration Opens: 7:30am
•Committee Meetings: 8:00am – 3:30pm
Meeting Schedule
•AMC Showcase Expo: 8:30am – 6:00pm
•Workshops: 1:00pm – 3:50pm
Conservation, Education, & Recreation Workshops
•134th Annual Business Meeting: 4:00pm – 5:00pm
•Dinner and Keynote Speaker (pre-registration required): 6:00pm
Registration Details:

Option A: Full Event Program — includes daytime workshops, committee meetings, entry into the Expo, dinner and keynote speaker. $50 per person.

Option B: Day Program Only — includes daytime workshops, committee meetings, and entry into the Expo. $15 per person.

Kid’s Option: Full Event Program for kids 12 and under – includes daytime workshops, entry into the Expo, kid’s dinner and keynote speaker. $15 per person.

Added Bonus: Book 10 seats for the Full Event Program and we will reserve a table so you and your friends can sit together. Call Cindy at the number below for full details.

Registration is now open! Register now >>

Overnight Accommodations:

Hotel reservations can be made directly with the Crowne Plaza Boston North Shore (formerly the Sheraton Ferncroft Resort) by calling 978-777-2500 and speaking to their in-house reservationist. To receive the discounted rate of $119 per night, mention that you are attending the AMC’s Annual Meeting.

Online reservations may be made at the following link:
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/cp/1/en/hotel/bosns?crUrl=/h/d/6c/1/en/hotelsearchresults&rpb=hotel&start=null
To receive the AMC discounted rate, enter Group Code: AMC in the ‘Check Availability’ section.

Note: Please do not call the 800 Sheraton reservation number or use the Sheraton website to book your overnight accommodations.

If you have any questions regarding the 2010 Annual Meeting, please call Cindy Martell, Event Coordinator, at 617-391-6603, or e-mail her at cmartell@outdoors.org.

Greg Mortenson, 2009 Keynote Speaker

See the keynote speech from the 133rd Annual Meeting held on February 7, 2009. Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, was the keynote speaker.”

Hotel Directions

2009 Volunteer Award Recipients

Workshops & Meeting Agenda

About | Conservation | Education | Recreation | Lodging | Chapters | Books & Maps | Join | Give | Store | Search | Site Map | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
© Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved. The Appalachian Mountain Club
5 Joy Street, Boston, MA 02108 P: 617-523-0655 F: 617-523-0722

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Fitness Coach Dana Moritz Recommends Lightload Towels

Dana Moritz the famed fitness Guru wrote below
“The Thanksgiving holiday is over and now it is time to get back to our routine of eating healthy and working out every day! I have found these great towels that are so handy to throw in your gym bag and are really good for wiping down either your machine or your face!
Lightload Towels are so convenient and they really do work! We put them to the test with our Insanity workouts. Brian, Jason, Kristi, Dawn, Chrissy and I gave them a trial run recently and we all were glad we had them. The sweat was pouring and the towels held up beautifully!
The towels come in a small, round package. You open them up and the towels unfold to a nice size (about the size of a paper towel) that is perfect for the workouts! We laid them out to dry and used them again the next day. Lightload Towels are super absorbent, quick drying and washable.

They can also be used for a fire starter, coffee filter, wind scarf, water filter or a first aid supplement.

http://feelingfitwithdana.blogspot.com/2009/11/lightload-towels.html

Jake opened the beach towel right away and really put it through a test. He pulled on it and really tried to tear it. It took a lot of abuse from him before he was able to tear it up. They are resilient.

 

Head over to Lightload Towels today and check them out!”
Dana has three websites that she keeps in good shape below.

WICKABLE LIGHTLOAD TOWELS CHANGE THE WAY PEOPLE TRAVEL AROUND THE GLOBE

WICKABLE LIGHTLOAD TOWELS CHANGE THE WAY PEOPLE TRAVEL AROUND THE GLOBE Jamaica, New York (November 18, 2009)— Traveling light is a goal for many people, whether they’re going on an extended backpacking trip or a day trip to the mall. With this in mind, Lightload Towels were invented. The hallmark of Lightload Towels is their space-saving design and light weight in addition to the wickable fabric from which they are made. Packaged to fit a 2-inch diameter, the towels are small enough to fit in a pocket and still leave room for other incidentals like keys and a wallet. Lightload Towels open to a full 12” x 24” inch 30x60cm size. They weigh only ½ ounce or 17 grams each and are constructed from 100% viscose, a wickable fabric that draws excess moisture from skin. Wickable fabric is best for keeping warm in cold weather. The towels are an almost indispensable piece of gear for backpackers, campers, fishermen, hikers, bikers or anyone who travels outdoors, and now, after years of successful sales in the United States, Lightload Towels can now be purchased in Europe on amazon.de (Germany) and amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom). Less adventurous travelers will also appreciate the versatility and compact design of Lightload Towels, which can be used in hundreds of imaginative ways. They are useful as fire starters, scarves, insulation, first aid bandages and strainers. They can also be used to protect skin from wind and bugs or any time a traveler needs something to cover the ground to sit on. The towels are more absorbent than cotton, and they dry much faster. A single, machine washable towel can be used over and over again. Lightload Towels are also inexpensive at approximately $2 each. Buyers who purchase 12 towels or more can get a 50% discount using coupon code “50 per.” More information about this product can be found on the company’s website at http://www.ultralightloadtowels.com. Lightload Towels are also available in stores, online and in catalogues through retailers such as EMS, REI, Campmor and Paragon Sports They make excellent stocking stuffers for anyone who can benefit from a lightweight, compact “take-along” towel.

 

Lightload Towels Bug Repeller Video Demo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSmteFWTVYU

Lightload Towels  are the only towels that are survival towels.  View this demo of the lightload Towels as a bug repeller.